Trashy, Crafty, & Literary: Upcycling for the Win!

I love books.
I love art. 
I love Etsy.
I love funky stuff.
I love recycling and upcycling.
This artist on Etsy combines both!

Nifty & Thrifty Crafter
Meet Kim Franklin (aka) the Trashy Crafter and here's her nifty thrifty story:
"... I love to go to thrift stores, I think mainly because it's such an adventure!  Anywho, my Mom and I were at a thrift store when we saw them throwing out hundreds of damaged and outdated books.  This made me really sad, there had to be someway to recycled them into something useful and beautiful.  My Mom and I grabbed about 50 books and threw then into the back of our truck and headed home.  The books sat in a corner of my tiny bedroom for a few months as I finished up finals for my senior year at UCSD.
Soon after graduating I remembered my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Bryant had taught us how to roll paper beads from magazine paper, but it was so flimsy and not sturdy.  So I thought, why not turn this beautiful paper into paper beads?  And that is how Trashy Crafter came to be…. It morphed into more than paper beads, we make recycled art, paper flowers and home decor. My Mom and I gather all the damaged and outdated books, hand cut, roll and coat the beads one at a time.  We even create the cardboard holders (for the bracelets) from recycled boxes found at the local Costco in San Diego.  This past weekend I didn’t have a craft show so I got to head out to the the thrift stores, which was awesome fun.  I thought I would check out the books to see if there were any really old or damaged books that I could take and turn into beads.  At my last few shows I have had tons of people asking that I start going classic novels instead of just children books. So I am happy to announce along with some great kid books, I grabbed lots of classic novels… a lot of the books were written in, falling apart or had damaged cover.  All of these books were on the last chance clearance shelf because no one was buying them and they had been there forever.  The lady at checkout asked me what I was doing with them, I love sharing the excitement of recycled crafting :) Which one should I start with??? I am so excited!!!"   excerpts from About the Trashy Crafter & Thrift Store Weekend 

I Admit It,  I'm a Fangirl! 
So super cool, right? I mean, she even sorta writes like me! She even has that penchant for the exclamation point as I do!  Visit her Etsy store, check out her pieces, & try and win a FREE bracelet below!
Here's my Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban bracelet set! I also bought a matching pair of earrings - they're on their way!  

School Library & Classroom Ideas!
Old Books As ART
Let's think of ways we can connect to the kiddos about recycling,  upcycling and art!  Books are precious but they are not sacred. When we weed books or withdraw them because of damage, instead of throwing them away or shipping them off - here are some artsy ideas.
Donate them to the art room and suggest to the art teacher a cool collaborative project!
• Transformed book project
• Literary paper mache of actual letters - that spell words!
• Have the kiddos paint in acrylic over book pages that have been gessoed - or watercolour over raw book pages that have been just glued to a board.
• Origami Book Art

Have the artwork displayed gallery style in the school library! Invite the artists to stand by and talk about their work as other classes walk through to view the installation. Why not video tape the artist talking about their project, upload to YouTube - then create a QR Code to the video URL and post next to the work so that later visitors can scan the codes & learn about the artist and what inspired them to create their the art! (above is just an example)
What are your artistic recycling & upcycling ideas? Leave them in the comments also that's how you can enter to win a FREE pair if Trasy Crafter bracelets!

WIN A FREE 2-Piece Bracelet! 
After being in contact with the artist she has generously donated a pair of bracelets for you... my readers as a FUN Giveaway!
Please NOTE You Do NOT have to use Facebook to enter this contest - you can use your email.  In fact, because I don't do Facebook myself (read why) I would go ahead and use my email addy to enter. But hey, that's me. You be you. I like you the way you are! I just don't want you to see that Facebook thingy below and think, darn, not that again! LOL Good luck!
How do you enter to win? Click the widget below for more info! But basically just leave a comment on this blog post as to who one of your most favourite YA authors either contemporary or from your teen years & follow me on Twitter!
Full Disclosure.
If you couldn't tell I am a Trashy Crafter fan!  I was gifted the bracelet set and I bought for myself the matching earrings. It takes a WHOLE HECK of a lot more to buy space on my blog than $25 bucks. Think first class airfare, limo pickup at the air port, four seasons and a bag of tropical skittles. Srsly, I get emails all the time for paid adverts, vendor blog topic suggestions, people asking to be highlighted, and guest blog opportunities from people wanting to get to you, my dear reader. All of whom I say, "Nay nay good budy" and "I've got my street cred to think of!" (Though I do try and say it nicely!)  But this was special to me. much so that I also begged the artist Kim Franklin to donate a random pair of bracelets to giveaway to you dear reader! Couldn't leave YOU out on the upcycling fun, right? You're welcome. [winks]
50+ Old Book Craft Ideas Pinterest Boards via my pal Donna Baumbach aka Aunty Tech
Connect with your Art peeps on Twitter!  Art Education Hashtags:

via CybraryMan's Educational Hashtag page


  1. I'm a Teacher Librarian...I canNOT have just one YA author. I think I would spontaneously combust if I picked just one. But, one of my favorites and go to authors for kids is Laurie Halse Anderson--so much variety and depth in her writing....and then, Chris Cructher....and then Gordon Korman for the guys and gosh, I could keep going. You did say one and I didn't follow directions. again.

    1. Thanks Linda for your comment! Because of you I went back and edited my Rafflecopter giveaway description! LOL I know it's hard for us to choose just one! Great authors! Thanks again!

  2. YA is just a lovely area for reading. I have found myself reading that when I could read a 'grownup' book. They're just better! Anyway, one of my favorite YA books is Ender's Game. It's had a resurgence due to the movie but I found it as a teen and truly identified with Ender.

    1. Hi Melanie! I agree - YA is AWESOME reading! I think after Harry Potter (and the adult covers) mainstream readers have discovered how awesome YA books are! I've never read Ender's Game but because of you - it's on my list!
      Thanks for your comment!

  3. As a teen it was J.K. Rowling. Currently it's Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, and R.J. Palacio. Who can pick just one? ;)

    1. I know picking just one is a Herculean effort for us - but sometimes you gotta just choose! LOL Thanks for your comment Lisa!

  4. Does Judy Blume count as YA? I love her so much!

    1. Ummmm YES!!! Why wouldn't she be? I've got Judy Blume books in my library! Thanks for your comment sweetie!

  5. My favorite always seems to be who I'm reading at the moment and right now I am loving Jason Reynolds. I picked up Boy in the Black Suit at ALA and it's awesome. And he thanked me for being a librarian, nobody ever does that!!
    I also love John Green and Gayle Forman and too many more... Which is why I love being a librarian! :)

  6. I love the upcycling ideas. I just turned a bunch of old, ill-fitting camp t-shirts into tank tops. It was a lot of fun.

    I think right now Rainbow Rowell is my favorite, but it changes every time I pick up a new book...I also love Neil Gaiman's middle grades/YA stuff.

  7. Rick Riordan is a huge favorite. I liked Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave. Also James Dashner's The Maze Runner series. Wendy Higgins' Sweet Trilogy. And especially Kresely Cole's Arcana Chronicles. Just to name a few!

    Great giveaway and question!

  8. I love David Levithan (and thank you for understanding that there are many, many others I love as well!) I have 4 copies of Everyday in my library, and it's one of my favorites to recommend. I'm a little anxious because I let teachers check out over the summer, and I want all 4 of those copies back before schools starts so I can get them into students' hands ASAP!

  9. Now? John Green, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jordan Sonnenblick, Gayle Forman, Maggie Stiefvater... Then? I loved Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, and all things Christopher Pike. Can't pick just one!


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